"I'm a writer living in the Perth Hills with my relentlessly fun seeking children.
Published January 15th 2017
The hills are alive with the sound of movies
I'll be honest, after the Christmas spending spree when the new year credit card bills roll in, our pockets are pretty empty. Luckily, there are still ways to have fun without spending a fortune. Whilst January is the time for fireworks and concerts, February is the month for packing a picnic, grabbing the leftover glow sticks and catching a free movie under the stars, but why stop there?
If you want to make the most of your day in the hills, why not set off earlier, team it up with a playground and make an afternoon of it.
There are some awesome outdoor play spaces only a short drive away from these three movie events. I've chosen our favourite tried and tested places to visit. As Perth summers are scorching, all of these have shade, seating and at least some opportunity to get wet. Once the kids have burnt off some energy, it's on to the main event. Who knows, you might find your moonlight cinema experience more relaxing and a little less wriggly. If the kids do happen to fall asleep half way through, well it's just more popcorn for you.
Jump for joy
On Sat 4th February the Shire of Mundaring hosts 2017 cinema under starlight at Elsie Austin Oval, Chidlow St, Mount Helena, 6082. Gates open 6.00pm with the movie around 8.00pm when the sun goes down. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:Out of the shadows (PG) will be showing and refreshments are available to buy. More info here. Team up this movie with an afternoon visit beforehand to Woodbridge Riverside play space, First Avenue, Woodbridge, 6056.
This is a lovely play space right by the river. There is plentiful seating and shade, automated musical toilets (popular with my 7yo) and a coffee kiosk (popular with Mum). The playground has a flying fox, water and sand play, a variety of swings and is very wheelchair friendly. More info here.
On Sat 11th of February, Shire of Mundaring also presents Zootopia (PG) at Wooroloo Primary school, 11 Wade street, Wooroloo 6558, I'm a little excited about this one because it gives me a couple of possibilities to turn this into a great day.
You're spoilt for choice here. My kids love Mundaring community sculpture park, Jacoby St, Mundaring 6073. This tree cradled play space has climbing frames, water pump, sand pit and a huge flying fox to keep them amused. There is leafy shade, toilets and a nearby Dome for your coffee fix.
Fun at Mundaring
The other option is to go really wild and spend the whole afternoon (or day) at Lake Leschenautlia with swimming and canoeing opportunities a plenty, then drive the 16 mins down the road to the movie screening. You might even be tempted to pitch a tent at the lake overnight and make a weekend of it and who could blame you. Booking advised.
If your less adventurous why not take advantage of the free screening of Finding Dory (PG) put on by City of Swan on Friday 17th February at Baskerville Oval, Memorial Ave, Baskerville, 6056. Gates open at 5.30 movie from 7.00pm (sausage sizzle available to buy). More info
My playground of choice, a short drive away has to be the Ellenbrook water park, Rainbow Waters Playground, lot 5519, Library Ave, Ellenbrook. This fun water park just behind the library is a splashtastic area designed for younger kids.(although my 12 yo loves it.) It has tunnels, water spouting flowers, cannons and bubblers aplenty and of course those wonderful musical toilets. There is also a green space right behind it, to kick a footy. Situated right in the town centre of Ellenbrook it's within easy reach of great shops and coffee.
Splashing good time
Make sure you bring sunscreen and a blanket or chair to sit on. Then relax and reflect that life in the Swan Valley and Perth Hills is picture perfect.